IRLA: Independent Reading Level Assessment Framework

Common Core Standards for Reading

American Reading Company’s Leveling System maps out the reading field for both books and readers, integrating Common Core Standards for reading acquisition with a deep knowledge of the demands of literature and informational text for students, grades K through 12. The color-coded system is grounded on a review of more than 100,000 books evaluated with the following three questions in mind:

  • What does the reader need to know and be able to do to understand this book?
  • What supports does the text offer an independent thinker and problem solver?
  • What challenges does this text present to a reader who is comfortable with other texts at this same basic level?

The Leveling System has been successfully field-tested in more than 1,800 schools across the country with hundreds of thousands of readers, making it possible for students to easily find books they can enjoy and read successfully—books that allow them to improve their reading through reading.

IRLA: Independent Reading Level Assessment FrameworkFormative Assessment Framework for Teaching and Learning Built on Common Core Standards

The Independent Reading Level Assessment (IRLA) is a unified standards-based framework for student assessment, text leveling, and curriculum and instruction. The IRLA includes every Common Core Standard for Reading, both in literature and informational text, as well as those Language standards key to reading success, for students in grades PreK through 12.

IRLA: Independent Reading Level Assessment

Establish Baseline Level for Every Student

The IRLA will help you establish a baseline proficiency level for each of your students. The baseline level is the highest level at which a student can demonstrate proficiency without teacher help. This is the level at which you can expect the student to perform at proficiency on high stakes testing.

Develop an Action Plan to Ensure Reading Proficiency for Every Student

The IRLA will help you show students where they are, where they should be, and what skills and behaviors lie in between. Through regular conferences, you will be able to outline and track a course of correction, acceleration, or maintenance, for each student and his or her family.

Monitor Progress Towards Goal

The IRLA allows you to track progress in real-time. Each standard has been assigned a points value relative to the amount of time it should take a student to acquire that skill or concept. In each formative assessment conference, teachers score students on any standards they have mastered, allowing teachers and schools to track rate of reading growth for every student.

Built on Common Core Standards for Reading

Comprehension: Literature and Informational Text

  • Active Reading Strategies
  • Key Ideas and Details: Basic understanding
  • Craft and Structure: Vocabulary, Text Organization, Literary Elements
  • Integration of Knowledge and Ideas: Compare/Contrast, Analyze, Synthesize, Evaluate

Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity

  • Engagement and Independence
  • Home Reading Routines
  • Reading Across Genres

Foundational Skills: Reading Standards K–5

  • Print Concepts
  • Sequential Phonics/Decoding Skills
  • Word Recognition (Power Words and Tricky Words)
  • Fluency and Self-Monitoring

Vocabulary: Language Standards 2–12

  • Word Recognition
  • Literary and Technical Vocabulary
  • Word Structures and Etymology
  • Figurative Language
  • Domain-Specific Information

IRLA Starter Kit

Know Where Your Students Are and What They Need to Do Next

Learn more »


The IRLA is also available for TEKS and VA-SOL standards.

Contact Us

Call or e-mail American Reading Company today.

Email General Info to:
Email Purchase Orders to:
(866) 810-2665

100% Solar-Powered Business